Getting the best envelope for your direct mail campaign

While design, copy and print finishing are crucial to the success of your direct mail, you cannot afford to forget about your mailing envelopes.

The type of envelope you choose for your direct mail marketing can significantly affect overall campaign results. It may not seem substantial in the grand scheme of your marketing campaign, but can spell the difference between a consumer opening your direct mail advertising, or simply throwing it away. You can improve costs and responses with the correct envelope printing, and we’re here to share all of our tips. Similarly, mailing envelopes form part of the fulfilment house phase of a campaign. More information regarding choosing a fulfilment house can be found here.

Mailing envelopes

Envelope sizes

Firstly, you need to choose the envelope size. Your direct mail envelopes must be big enough to adequately hold the campaign material in a tidy fashion. However, the mailing envelopes should not be too big to incur significantly raised postage costs. When planning a campaign, consider your material requirements. Do they fit into the Royal Mail’s ‘Letter’ format? This can substantially save on postage costs – particularly if you happen to be delivering transactional mail as opposed to promotional packaging. Bulk mailing campaigns suit the more ‘standard’ letter shape, especially as it saves on costs.

If, however, you require more material that won’t fit into a ‘Letter’ size, ensure the predicted uplift in response from the bigger mail pack is likely to outweigh the increase in postage cost. Finally, be mindful not to overstuff your envelope which results in a poor looking mail pack. Untidy envelopes do not make for a successful campaign.



Premium mailing stands a better chance of being opened and, subsequently, kept in the house. In the best possible cases, high-quality direct mail marketing could even be passed on and shared across social media. You must consider the quality of the overall marketing campaign. Choose envelope sizes that reflect the message, as well as luxury envelope printing. The envelope is the first thing the recipient will see and feel, and it needs to create a good first impression. The chosen envelope also needs to be of good enough quality to perform its function of adequately holding and sealing the campaign’s material.


Creative design

Your envelope can be printed with your company branding. Similarly, you can choose campaign-specific branding or other necessary factors, such as a teaser message or ‘urgent’ text. If done well, an attractive direct mail envelope with a targeted note can create a big uplift in response rate. Remember, for a recipient to respond to a campaign, they are required to actually open the envelope in the first place. We suggest segmenting your mailing list and designing envelopes relevant to audience categories. For example, different ages will likely respond to different messages, so use the potential of your mailing list in fine detail. If your company is opting for bulk mailing, a creative design will help you stand out. However, don’t go overboard. Too much text on an envelope can have the opposite effect, even stopping recipients from opening altogether.

Envelope design

Envelope printing

Don’t underestimate the quality of envelope printing. Similar to the above point, quality envelope printing is essential. Consumers can instantly spot the difference when time and effort has not been paid to all aspects of the marketing campaign. If you have gone to the trouble of creating an innovative campaign, with brilliant print finishing, don’t stop at the envelope. You can opt for a range of textures and designs with envelope printing, all relevant to your target audience. In those first two seconds, catch their attention and push them to open your direct mailing.


Personalised envelopes

Personalised envelopes go a long way to the success and longevity of your direct mail campaign. For example, we are still acquiring leads from a direct mail marketing campaign initiated six months ago. The responses are down to opting for personalisation (but more on that another time). Producing personalised envelopes is certainly not a complex task and, as such, you will see a significant lift in responses.

Using data from your CRM system or buying data history, you can produce personalised mailing envelopes. You can add personalised messages and wording on the envelope to further target the prospects and boost your profile.


Direct mail postcards

If your direct mail campaign doesn’t require envelopes, direct mail postcards are a suitable alternative. Direct mail postcards are still as popular as ever, but you must consider all of the above points. The design, copy and type of printing can significantly affect responses and subsequent revenue. You must also never forget the back of direct mail postcards, as they are, typically, face down when posted. Don’t make your prospect work harder for the message then they have to, and incorporate your design on both sides.


Suitability for automated packing process

At Washington DM, we offer an automated filling service as part of campaign fulfilment. This is a highly efficient and accurate process. Before you decide which envelope will work best for your direct mail campaign, speak to us to discuss which envelopes can and can’t be used in our automated filling process.

Contact our fulfilment team at Washington DM for any other advice or queries you may have related to direct mail envelope selection.


We’re experts in what we do

Delivering world class mail and print solutions since 1983, we know a thing or two about the industry. Read our latest news and insights to learn more about our experience and expertise.

Request a Quote today!

Complete the form and one of our mail and print experts will be in touch with your quote.

    Proud to be an ISO certified business

    • ISO27001:2013

      Data Security & Business Continuity

    • ISO9001:2015


    • ISO14001:2015


    • ISO45001:2018

      Health & Safety


    Certificate Number 10515

    Get a quote today, call 0191 487 5148 or email